U.S. Government Pays $554 Million in a Historic Settlement with the Navajo Nation

nps+Navajo.thumbnail.jpg It was a historic moment in history on September 26, 2014: the Navajo Tribal Council approved a $554 million dollar settlement from the U.S. government, with a thirteen “for” and three “against” vote. In 2006, the Navajo nation filed suit against the federal government for $900 million dollars because of its mismanagement of tribal resources, and last month’s settlement is the result of eight years of litigation. The president of the Council, Ben Shelly, called this settlement for the tribe “a victory for tribal sovereignty.” However, while the settlement was approved by the Navajo Tribal Council, it was not unanimously approved. Three members voted against accepting the settlement, and did so not because they did not want the settlement but because they disagreed with the speed with which the settlement was approved. The bill was brought before the Council and voted upon without any public involvement or comment. The Council majority justified the speed of this approval, because it did not want to jeopardize settlement and wanted to publicly demonstrate union within the Council. However, some Council members felt that the settlement was never in jeopardy, and by not allowing people to comment on the legislation, “…the approval of the bill undermines the transparency that the Council often advocates amongst the Navajo people.”

Cultural Appropriation, Collaboration, and Intervention in Tony Hillerman’s Novels

The dust jacket of the first edition of Hillerman’s 1989 novel TALKING GOD positions a depiction of a Navajo Yeibichai mask at the center of a representation of a Navajo sand painting. Designed by long-time Hillerman collaborator Peter Thorpe, the jacket design depicts the mask as flanked on either side by iconic emblems of the national government that was responsible for the effective genocide of millions of Native Americans as well as the forced removal of the Navajo from their homeland in the Long Walk of 1864.

Women in New Mexico History

March is National Women's History Month! This year’s theme, Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment, honors the extraordinary and often unrecognized determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. They have demonstrated their character, courage and commitment as mothers, educators, institution builders, business, labor, political and community leaders, relief workers, women religious, and CEOs.

UNM Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Zimmerman Library

The College of University Libraries & Learning Sciences (UL&LS) is hosting a celebration of Zimmerman Library’s 75th anniversary during UNM Homecoming week featuring the premiere of an original documentary about Zimmerman Library, a festive anniversary reception and exhibitions of historic photos and documents in all four library branches. Anniversary event information can be found here.

After the new campus library was completed, UNM President James Zimmerman led a ceremonial parade of students, faculty, staff and WPA workers carrying books from the old library site in what is now the Art Annex to the new building, which opened on April 1st, 1938. It actually took several weeks for all the books to be moved to the new building. The collections at UL& LS have greatly expanded since that modest beginning in one room of Hodgin Hall. Learn more about the history here.

Today Zimmerman Library is considered the heart of the UNM campus, and generations of students have memories of the hours spent studying there. The library has been in continuous use by students, faculty and community members since opening in 1938. If you are feeling nostalgic you can take the photo tour of Zimmerman Library over the decades. Despite three additions Zimmerman Library is one of the most recognizable buildings on campus and often the location of choice for photography and filmmaking. The campus community is invited to share their memories of Zimmerman Library on the University Libraries’ Facebook page.

Dean of UL&LS Martha Bedard said, “Zimmerman houses the tangible, the digital and the memories and associations of its many visitors. This anniversary is a time to pause and reflect on the part Zimmerman Library has played in the history of New Mexico, and to contemplate its place in the future.”


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